California Spring Trials 2013: Allan Armitage On Up-And-Coming Crops

Mecardonia 'Magic Carpet'

Greenex
Although the market for kalanchoes is challenging, it is good to know that for those who wish to grow them, there are some excellent choices.  I was blown away with the diversity of flower size and color of the kalanchoes at Greenex. I especially loved the double flowered series (RoseFlowers), and especially fell in love with the iridescent orange ‘Phoebe.’ All the kalanchoes were superb, but some will just walk off the bench. If you are looking for kalanchoes, I believe we found the right source.

We have been seeing a lot of vegetables in our travels this spring, and vegetables will always be an important part of gardening. It is always good to see edible vegetables combined with ornamental value as seen in the selection of banana peppers, both hot and sweet flavors. Three cultivars, ‘Hot Banana,’ ‘Hot Burrito’ and ‘Snack Pepper Orange’ have large fruit, good taste and a nice habit. These peppers are well worth looking at.

After breathing fire with hot peppers and calming down with sweet peppers, I ran over to my favorite fruit, the ‘Toscana’ strawberry, from ABZ Seeds. I loved ‘Toscana’ in the Spring Trials last year, I was impressed with it in my trial garden in Georgia last summer, so I am pleased to be able to recommend it again this spring. ‘Toscana’ has beautiful flowers, prolific fruit, a sweet taste and is a great grower in both containers and baskets. It’s a true ornamental, edible strawberry, and I can’t wait to grow them again.

American Takii
I have been visiting Takii for many years, and last year we saw the beautiful Spring Celebrity hollyhocks in several colors. The plants this year were equally impressive. However, this year, Takii has shown how the grower can produce these plants more effectively to improve transportation and retail sales. They demonstrated proper use of PGRs and enhanced the look and toughness of this plant. Hollyhocks aren’t the easiest plant to ship and show off, but kudos to Takii for showing us how to do both.

Sakata
Upon arriving at Sakata, my eyes immediately went to the cascading snapdragons called Candy Showers. Cascading plants are becoming more important, because smaller gardens demand baskets and containers. We’ve been looking at cascading pansies and violas, and cascading snapdragons can be grown side by side with them. Candy Showers snapdragons are grown from seed, so many growers are already comfortable with snapdragon production protocols. These are available in many colors and appear to be just what we need to provide an even better class of snapdragons.

As I rounded the corner, my eyes fell on one of my favorite plants, gomphrena. Globe amaranth is by definition tough and durable and is also a prolific bloomer. It is so tough as to be the plant of choice to landscape fraternities — nothing bothers it —enough said.  Today, I saw the Pinball series, a group of vegetative, medium-sized gomphrenas, and I am indeed impressed. Three colors were shown, and I liked them all. The fact that they’re vegetatively, rather than seed-propagated, might be a bonus for growers of this plant. There are a number of fine gomphrenas in the marketplace; the Pinball series should take its place beside them.     

Last, but surely not least is another of my favorite plants on display, Mecardonia, yellow sundrops. I have watched this groundcover plant evolve for many years, and I believe ‘Magic Carpet’ is the finest I have seen. On the bench and in the landscape, plants are covered with golden yellow flowers. This is not a plant many people know, but if you are familiar with yellow sundrops, give this new cultivar a try.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “California Spring Trials 2013: Allan Armitage On Up-And-Coming Crops

More From Varieties...
Youngs Plant Farm Trial Garden feature

January 21, 2017

Don’t Miss the Southern Garden Tour This June

Growers, retailers, and all industry professionals are invited to the 2017 Southern Garden Tour, which is hosted by Young’s Plant Farms, Sakata, and Metrolina Greenhouses, and will be held June 6-8.

Read More
Gaillardia 'Mesa Red'

January 21, 2017

2016 Pike Creek Horticulture Center Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for The Pike Creek Horticulture Center in Kenosha, WI.

Read More
Anna Chernyavsky

January 20, 2017

New Director of Sales for Bedding Plants and Perennials at Danziger

Anna Chernyavsky, who joined Danziger in August 2016, will be in charge of the U.S. and United Kingdom markets.

Read More
Latest Stories
Youngs Plant Farm Trial Garden feature

January 21, 2017

Don’t Miss the Southern Garden Tour This June

Growers, retailers, and all industry professionals are invited to the 2017 Southern Garden Tour, which is hosted by Young’s Plant Farms, Sakata, and Metrolina Greenhouses, and will be held June 6-8.

Read More
Gaillardia 'Mesa Red'

January 21, 2017

2016 Pike Creek Horticulture Center Field Trials Result…

Check out the 2016 field trials results for The Pike Creek Horticulture Center in Kenosha, WI.

Read More
Anna Chernyavsky

January 20, 2017

New Director of Sales for Bedding Plants and Perennials…

Anna Chernyavsky, who joined Danziger in August 2016, will be in charge of the U.S. and United Kingdom markets.

Read More
Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer BloomStruck’ (Bailey Nurseries)

January 19, 2017

Bailey Nurseries Hosting Spring Previews in February

The previews, which provide education, new variety information, and retail support programs, will take place in Illinois, Minnesota, and Boston.

Read More
Selecta Sponsor bed at Raker trial gardens

January 18, 2017

2016 C. Raker & Sons Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, MI.

Read More
Joe Cimino, Sakata Seed America

January 17, 2017

Sakata Seed Names New Senior Sales Manager for Ornament…

Joe Cimino comes to Sakata with past experience at Sun Gro and Florexpo.

Read More
JinPin Flower Seedling Company partners

January 17, 2017

Ernst Benary Partners With Chinese Young Plant Grower o…

The partnership creates a new company called Jinpin Flower Seedling Company, which will focus on providing young plants to the rapidly growing Chinese bedding plant market.

Read More
Dipladenia Sundenia

January 11, 2017

New Tropical and Foliage Plants That Offer Hidden Benef…

Tropical and foliage plants can offer extra paybacks to your customers in terms of health-promoting benefits such as filtering the air, reducing stress, and absorbing noise. Consider these new varieties, hitting the retail market in 2017, for your product mix.

Read More
craspedia-golf-beauty-danziger-feature

January 9, 2017

Growing Tips for Craspedia ‘Golf Beauty’

Laura Robles of Mast Young Plants offers advice on ‘Golf Beauty,’ a novelty plant with can’t-miss yellow flower heads and silver foliage that blooms throughout the summer.

Read More
Bride with wedding orchids.

January 7, 2017

How to Stand Out in the Orchid Market

With the popularity of the Phalaenopsis orchid growing and its saturation in the market, orchid growers are hunting for new ways to stand out from their competitors.

Read More
California Coast

January 3, 2017

Expect Big Changes for California Spring Trials 2017

California Spring Trials 2017 will be here before you know it. Find out what you can look forward to and get a head start on planning and registering for your trip.

Read More
westerlay-orchids-feature

January 1, 2017

How Westerlay Orchids Solved Its Bacteria Problem

Water-borne bacteria was causing havoc with Westerlay Orchids’ production, so the company took preventative action to ensure the health of its plants.

Read More
nepeta-purple-wave-with-roses

December 30, 2016

Allan Armitage: Plants That Can Bring Success in the Ne…

Are you wondering which plants to grow? Here are some perennials, annuals, and herbs that are gaining popularity.

Read More
Honeybelle combo

December 27, 2016

19 New Combos for Containers Big and Small

Check out 19 combos and mixes new for the retail marketplace in 2017 that offer something for every container type.

Read More
sun-parasol-original-crimson-web

December 20, 2016

Suntory Launches Unrooted Cuttings Program for Sun Para…

While the domestically produced rooting program for the Sun Parasol will continue, growers who would like to purchase unrooted cuttings will have the opportunity for the Sun Parasol Original varieties and Garden Crimson.

Read More
santos flare

December 20, 2016

Ball Horticultural Expands Potted Plant Offerings With …

Ex-Plant, which specializes in potted plants, will become a part of Ball’s PanAmerican Seed division.

Read More

December 16, 2016

Please Take Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Poinsettia S…

Are plant sales up or down compared to last year? How did Black Friday set the tone for this season? What varieties and sizes were your best sellers? Did you try anything new this year to appeal to younger consumer demographics? We tackle all of these questions and more to help you understand the trends in Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Poinsettia Survey.

Read More

December 13, 2016

Dümmen Orange Shares Trends And Season-Extending Tips A…

As a purveyor of a wide collection of poinsettia and potted plant genetics, Dümmen Orange offered attendees a look at current trends – and a glimpse into the future – at its annual event in Columbus, OH.

Read More